Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

How to be Reinstated on Amazon



AmazonIf you have been suspended
or terminated from Amazon in the past, now is the time to come back. Amazon is
growing at twice the rate of the e-commerce as a whole, so it’s a very
important channel for many retailers across the globe.

Suspensions and terminations may seem unfair, however Amazon is focused on
providing the most customer-friendly buying experience and any activity that
does not live up to this standard is monitored. Additionally, Amazon, like any
company, is looking to build their own brand reputation and grow, and thus it
does not want a buyer to have ANY reason to leave the site and visit a
competitor to purchase the product they desire.

As it can be difficult for any company attempting to rebuild a customer’s
trust, Amazon ensures the issues that caused suspension are fully overcome
before it allows a retailer to return.

Metrics:

Amazon uses a series of metrics to assess a retailer’s overall performance on
Amazon. These metrics range from response time to delivery time and provide
Amazon with a holistic view of a retailer’s performance.

  • Order Defect Rate: This is measured by combining A-to-z claims, negative feedback and service chargeback rates. This must stay below 1% for best exposure.
  • Cancellations: below 2.5%.
  • Late Shipments: below 4%.

If you fail to meet these targets, your account may be suspended or terminated.

Suspensions occur when you are slightly above these percentages, especially
ODR: for example at 1.2% or 1.3%. If you are suspended you have a short period of time to
rectify all issues and can prove this to Seller Performance in order to avoid
termination.

Terminations occur when you are dramatically above these percentages,
especially the Order Defect Rate metric, or if you have been suspended in the
past.


Buy Box 1Please note:
 

  • You automatically lose Buy Box
    eligibility for all of your offers as soon as your ODR reaches 1%. You
    will then need to maintain an Order Defect Rate below 1% to regain this eligibility.
  • Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) offers are still
    eligible to win the Buy Box even if your ODR is above 1% as these items
    are delivered by Amazon. Moving to FBA when your ODR reaches 1% is a good
    way to secure your business, maintain your Buy Box eligibility and to improve
    your metrics quickly.

Identify the primary issues:


Even if you were
terminated two years ago, you should identify the catalyst to this action and work
to make sure you have smoothed out this issue. Was it caused by your ODR, late
deliveries, cancellations, poor customer service or a combination of all of
these? By understanding your failings in the past, you can implement a strategy
that helps avoid these issues moving forward.

We recommend to:

  • Download all feedback in Amazon’s
    Seller Central. You can do this by visiting:0 Performance > Feedback >
    Download Feedback Reports. We recommend you analyse this data, for example in Excel you can filter feedback to show negative and neutral feedback.
  • Read all A-to-z claims in Amazon’s
    Seller Central
  • Download all issues: in Amazon’s Seller Central,
    in Performance > Customer Metrics > Performance Over Time > Show
    order defect rate components > Download.

    • Compare it to claims, negative and neutral
      feedbacks.

You may think terminations are driven by one recent claim, or one specific
issue. But take the time to investigate; often retailers find that their termination
was caused by several issues over a long period of time (up to 12 months).

Work to overcome the issues:

Your plan of action has
to solve all of your issues. From Amazon’s perspective, you should not be
reinstated unless it is guaranteed that every customer issue is overcome and
fixed. As your termination may have negatively impacted on Amazon’s customer
experience, you will have to prove to Seller Performance that this will not
happen again.


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It is important to understand that:

  • A reinstatement is a very last chance with
    Amazon. Any other issues could cease your relationship with Amazon.
  • Make sure listings are deactivated when the
    plan of action is sent. If you are reinstated, inventory has to be
    up-to-date.


Using Fulfilment by Amazon:

  • FBA can solve many customer-facing issues such as your
    ODR metric or customer performance, but when your problem is caused by
    mismatch (wrong item sent to clients) then FBA will not help overcome
    this.
  • A 100% FBA reinstatement is the best way to be
    reinstated, though not the only way. You would not be allowed to ship
    products directly anymore. Please note you can use only a small selection
    of your inventory in FBA, as long as you use FBA only: you don’t have to
    move your whole inventory to Amazon’s warehouses. We recommend to sell
    your best-sellers only in FBA. It’s not perfect, but it’s still better than
    nothing; and it could be the difference between Amazon success and
    termination.


Wording


We consider your
communication and descriptions to Seller Performance to be very important when
appealing for reinstatement. Consider using the template below:

  • Firstly explain the cause of the problem
  • Following on from this by highlighting your
    plan of action
  • Double check if anything else would prevent
    your reinstatement


The following plans of action did work to reinstate retailers:

  • Example 1:

Please accept our sincere apologies for the drop in
performance on Amazon.de. Our ODR is above 1%, driven by customer service
issues. We have been late to answer German customers, especially during
weekends, plus we were using a software to translate their questions and our
answers.

Our plan of action is as follow: starting today, we have hired a German native
speaker to answer all questions on Amazon.de. This employee is dedicated to
Amazon.de. He’s now answering all questions from Mondays to Saturdays included,
to be sure customers get answers even during weekends. Please note we are not
planning to use a software anymore, so we believe the issue is definitively
fixed.

Please let us know if any other issue is not answered by this plan of action.
Could you reinstate us?

Many thanks,
Signature

  • Example 2:

‘Please accept our sincere apologies for the sudden
drop in performance on Amazon.com. Our ODR is above 1%, driven by shipping
issues. We have experienced a high level of orders not received or received
damaged by customers.

Our plan of action is as follows: starting today, we are using FBA only for all
items sold on Amazon. With a 100% FBA commitment, we believe these shipping
issues shall not occur again. Please note we are not planning to ship items by
ourselves anymore.

Please let us know if any other issue is not answered by this plan of action.
Could you reinstate us?

Many thanks.
Signature.

If you have found yourself suspended or terminated, these steps should help you overcome this challenge. If you still need assistance, contact us and find out how we can help.

Blog post by David Le Roux, Key Account Manager, ChannelAdvisor EMEA